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Episode 8 Show Notes

Episode 8 Show Notes






Release Date

Release Date - 14th of November 2018

Topic - Interview Allie McCormack


Allie McCormack take 2.

This is a follow on episode so if you want to hear the first half make sure you listen to episode 7


I'm a disabled vet of the U.S. Army.  As a career, I was a medical transcriptionist. I've traveled quite a bit and lived many places, including a year in Cairo, Egypt as an exchange student, and a year in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia under contract to a hospital there. I was in Desert Storm and the Northridge Quake, and I've tromped through chest-deep snow before dawn to guard the buffalo from slaughter in Montana. I've been in the Army (including a short stint with NATO), a postal worker, a security guard, a legal secretary, and a wrangler/trail guide at a dude ranch. I've been the manager of a Greek delicatessen, owned a motorcycle and driven an 18-wheeler. I studied Arabic, which I still speak somewhat fluently, karate, tap dancing and belly dancing. I was a folk dancer for many years, mostly Greek line dances. I'm an alumni of the University of California Santa Barbara and the American University in Cairo, and I belong to Romance Writers of America and Mensa.

Truck Stop-border250.jpg


Allies First Book Truck Stop

Teri Campbell is on the run, on a bus ride to nowhere. An unscheduled stop on the wind-blown plains of Wyoming leaves her at M&J's Truck Stop... and in the arms of Mike Gallagher, the young trucker who appoints himself her protector, who understands her as no one else could. But will her new life and her new-found love be enough when events take an unexpected turn? ... and can even Mike keep her safe from the past that threatens to reclaim her?

If you would lIke a cope of truck stop it is available on amazon on the link below or select the picture.



This is the Finding Elara podcast, building worlds with words and sharing those words with the world.A podcast for writers, worldbuilders and artists that would like to take a mindful look at their creations. My name is Dianna and the ever Elusive Elara is one of the worlds I have created for my writing. If you ever feel challenged to find the right mindset or stuck when capturing the essence of your world then this is the podcast for you. In some episodes I will give you tips to help with your craft and others I will have guests share their wisdom and experience to help find what is missing in my Elara and help you find your own.


Hello and welcome back. This is episode 8 of the Finding Elara podcast. I am recording this in the morning so you can hear some birds in the back ground so I do apologise for that I can't tell them to be quiet. This is part two of my interview with Allie McCormack If you missed episode 7 then you might want to pause now and go back and have a listen. There's so much valuable information in the first half of the interview. I have such a fun chat with Allie that it went on a little bit longer than planned. So I split it into 2 shows. The timing is grand though we are almost through mid point of Nanowrimo. and I'm still trying to figure out what I want for my Christmas tale cover. As the school year begins to wrap up there's heaps of family commitments that i have to go to. I will give you a nano update after the inverview but I'm sure you're all keen on hearing what Allie has to say next. I met Allie through facebook and we have been friends for a long while now I have been her willing Beta reader and a huge fan of her work she updated her bio for me so this is her new BIO.

A career medical transcriptionist Allie McCormack is now writing from home full time she has travelled quite and bit and lived in many places all over the US and also a year in Cairo Egypt as an exchange student and a year in Rhyad Saudi Arabia under contract to a hospital there. Plus a short stint with Nato while she was in the Army. As a single Mum she raised a wonderful daughter who recently married and there are plans a foot for grandchildren. A disabled veteran Allie now lived in the beautiful Sorona desert in Southern Arizona with her two rescue cats and writes full time. Truck stop is her first published novel. It's being produced as an audiobook with an expected release  date around early January 2019. Her next romance novel the first of a four book paranormal romance series is planned for release shortly after. Allie Said a writer is who and what I am. A romance writer. I write what I know and what I know is romance. Dozens of story lines and literally hundreds of characters live and breath in the not so narrow confines of my imagination and it is my job and priveledge to bring bring them to life. to share them with others by writing their stories. 

Last week we talked about her passion for writing romance contemporary and paranormal. The loves in her life and where she finds the magic for her writing. We left off when she was telling me about her new audio book adventure. She thought that a narrator would sit at the computer and record but apparently there's so much more to it than that. So here goes.


D: So how much do the Auditions, like how much of the book do they record before they send you the audition. do they send you a chapter or?

A: You put together an audition script and it's s'posed to be two to three pages long and it'll have different excerpts from certain parts of the book. You want to hear how the Narator voices the main characters okay. You wanna hear how they do in a tense scene. You wanna hear how they do in this kind of scene. You kind of put together two or three pages of excerpts and then they record that and then upload it to your dashboard. An then you listen. I had about a dozen auditors and this one it is really wierd to hear your novel being read aloud. It is very very strange. Awkward city. An there was with one narrator, he started talking and I was just like totally caught up in it. I totally forgot to be awkward or embarrassed of feeling wierd about it. It was like I'd even forgotten it was my story. 

D: So is that the one that you picked?

A: Oh you bet it is.

D: I am so excited to hear it.

A: Yeah I'm sending it out to some of my Beta readers that had Beta read for truck stop. So that they knew the story. And they all came back unanimous. that was the guy so yeah.

D: Well that's going to be interesting to see. Do you know how long the process takes for recording?

A: Yeah, we set up some deadlines. because he has his own schedule and stuff that he has to put it in so we picked December 7 when he will have it back to me. Then I'm allowed Via the contract two rounds of edits. Two sets of edits if I think it's needed. we'll go in and change some places if it's needed. And then once we've both agreed that it's good to go then he sends it to Audible passes their QA and then they review it and that takes about two weeks. 

D: So for the new year then.

A: For the new year.

D: Maybe. 

A: I was really hoping that we would get it out before Christmas, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen. But that's okay. I'm not like you know. too worried about when it's going to happen. It'll happen when it happens.

D: Rome wasn't built in a day.

A: Absolutely you know. My other big project.

D: Yep.

A: That's sort of been sort of a long term project I have trilogy.

D: Another one?

A: This is not a  series, it's a trilogy. One story over three books.

D: Okay.

A: And it's when Darkness falls. It's a paranormal romance with vampires, that's set in the 15th century in the middle east. some wehere between the persian empire and the mugul empire in india. So it's some where in between these  Think Kismet, or Aladdin.

D: Yeah.

A: With Vampires. and the Hero is a vampire. The dark lord and that has been WOW! I didn't start out to write a trilogy but the story kind took over and it had to be written this way okay. It had to come out. it just turned out to be too big of a story to just fit in one book and I just went with it and I really like it that way,

D: I hope that I get to Beta read this one because I've really like all the other ones that I've Beta read.

A: I believe that you're on my waiting list. I have had it through one round of Beta reads. and I'm doing major edits on the last third of it. Major revisions having a lot and you're on my waiting list for when I get that done and it's ready to go back in to beta reading. You're first on my list.

D: I know, I'm reading swan song while I am waiting. I'm sure I've told you before that I like to set up, because you send me five chapters at a time, I like to set up to read a chapter once I've completed all my work for the day. It's like a reward system. I can ready Allie's chapter now.

A: Okay that's exciting for me to. OMG reading my chapter is a reward for some body.

D: It's true. I really look forward to it at the end of the day.

A: Okay, so you've just really like totally made my week okay. Maybe even my whole month. That's yeah thank you.

D: I'm sure that I've told you that in my emails before.

A: I know but is'd different hearing you like say it. OMG she really means it. 

D: Okay, well I, last interview that I did I asked her for an excerpt for her favourite scene from the book. Do you have a favourite scene that you would like to read out. from any book. I mean you have so many to choose from.

A: I've never read any of my own stories aloud.

D: I should add that to my pre interview questions.

A: Ok, just let me open, which, when darkness falls my trilogy. This is where my heart is.

D: So you do your writing in scrivener too? I have just started using scrivener and i am just trying to get my head around it a little bit. 

A: I was on the third day of the trial and I was like okay this is it I am doing this. So I went and brought it.

D: I used to use Y writer 5 but it's a bit clunky and I found scrivener is more streamlined for me.

A: Yea it's very streamlines and you have everything there. The research is there, the character profiles are just there, it just makes it so much easier and if you have more than one book in your series, oh yeah.

D: I have scrivener on my laptop, which is my main pc, but you can have scrivener on your other devices aswell, so I have it linked to my Ipad. I'll be writing for a little bit in the morning in my office and then I'll go for a walk to the park and do some writing on my Ipad and then I'll come back to my PC and it's all there and it's all in line,.

A: Yeah it's all there. Absolutely.

This is when darkness falls, it's a paranormal romance set in the 15th century in Arabian nights style setting. The Heroine is human (she thinks). and she had been employed as the sultana as the royal scribe in the palace. The city has been built in the middle of the desert. It's a month long caravan trip through the burning sands from either direction from north east or west. There's mountains to the north where live the vampires. and it is the vampires ancestral homeland. The whole areas claimed by them and the whole area is claimed by the lord overall. The dark lord.

D: And he's a vampire.

A: Yeah he's a vampire. A thousand years ago, he allowed the merchant caravans the establish a caravanserais a trade post at this oasis and caravanserais became a village and the village became a town and the town grew into a city. they had a Sultan and how, the city grew up and a palace grew up and he allowed it. So there's a truce between the hero and the humans and there's no interferance ok. Non, interferance. and it's very uneasy because as you know there are vampires walking around and they drink blood an that's kind of like it you know, scary. it's kind of like scary. SO there's always tension.There's never been any outright battle.

D: So there wasn't a big reveal about Vampires they've always known.

A: They've always known. They have Djinn, genies that come and visit the city the have shapeshifters that are rare but they are there. There's a tribe of jackals that are living off in a little valley of some distance away. so their aware and basically it's a place where some magical creatures their called "Others" capital O - Others are allowed to come and  go at will without a problem. For them it's like, oh there you go there's an angel. Well yeah right angel. He's an adolescant djinn and he's always in trouble. and so he's like there's an angel. Not you're usual reaction upon seeing and angel anyhow, so that's what the back ground is.  

D: Okay.

A: It was late when they'd finished. The late night call to prayer was echoing across the city as Alyssa climbed the steep circling stairs to her room at the top of the tower. She set her parchments and quills on the desk then crossed the small room to the arched doorway opening on to the balcony the beaded curtains tinkled musically as she pushed them aside to stepped out onto marble the tile the moon was rising high .a perfect crescent in the clear night sky. She leaned forward resting her arms on the cool curved balustrade looking out over the quiet city and the desert beyond. Moonlight reflected off the waters of the oasis east of the city and she could make out the faint flickers of campfires from the Caravan. Beyond that, the silhouette of the mountains rose stark and steep from the desert floor. Their craggy outline dark against the moonlight sky. That was where Lord Damian lived Alyssa thought her gaze on those distant peaks. There in those mountains with vampires and demons.His dark face rose up in her minds eye she remembered how he strode through the streets his head held high. Arrogance she thought and a hufty pride that clung to him like a second skin well he was lord of all, he had reason to be proud. And his gaze, though there eyes had only met fleetingly his gaze had burnt into her. Compelling, she thought. intense for that one instant that their eyes had met he had been focussed on her. her alone as if she would seer himself into her soul. 

D: oh that's awesome.

A: Okay so anyway that is when darkness falls.

D: So can they actually compel people?

A: Yes.

D: So do they entrance people, do they make people do things that they don't want to do?

A: No not that kind of compell. well they probably could but that's against the rules. Damien sets rules there's a council which he leads and they  set the rules for interactions with humans. Now vampires can cast a glamour to walk amongst humans and not be seen They can take the blood without the humans being aware of it. They don't kill, they can, it's there nature but they're not allowed to because they don't want to be exterminated from the face of the earth if they went around killing everybody when they fed.

D: Are they immortal?

A: Yes.

D: You have to check these things.

A: But they can be killed.

D: Okay.

A: They are Immortal but they can be killed. He is many thousands of years old. in fact he was one of the first vampires ever created and that is in the story. 

D: Ooh fascinating.

A: I made it up. That's my world building. This is what I want to do.  This is how I want to deal with MY vampires.

D: That's a good thing about making it up.

A: It's not somebody elses world.

D: Yep.

A: This story I'm having trouble finishing. Because I get in to working with the story. editing and revising. and I don't want to leave. I don't want to stop. I don't want to leave this world. It's a wrench. to come away from it.

D: Writerly problems.

A: It's almost a compulsion.

D: You're addicted is what it is.

A: Yeah, kinda like, it is. and I love this world so much but I don't want to do but some people said well why don't you make it into a and I'm like no I don't want to make it into a... I want this to stand alone I don't want a series. This story is about Damon and Alyssa and that's what I care about. anyway, that's all.

D: We'll just see how it goes.

A: We will just see how it goes. You never know. I didn't expect to make a series of the others and that's where we are.

D: Just 'cause we haven't mentioned it. You have truck stop. you have the three books in the wishes and dreams series. You also have three books in the second life series don't you.

A: Sons of the desert. That's 4. of which I have only written 2.

D: But I have a plan for another 2

A: Truck stop is the only on that's been published so far.  I do plan on publishing the wishes and dreams some time in the new year. I won't say when because I have no idea. But after the new year after truck stop is out on audio book I am going to sit down and look at everything and see if I've sold my house and make a decision a release date and move forward but I don't know what the timeline will be at this point.

D: SO there's lots to look forward to.

A: but wishes in a bottle will be coming out late winter early spring.

D: SO late summer early autumn. Do you have any tips to share with the audience in regards to world building

A: You have to believe it. If you don't believe it you're not going to be able to make your audience believe it. It has to make sense to you have to really dive in there. get comfortable with it live in that world. feel it.  If somebody does something magical there has to be a reason. There has to be a power. is there a cost to doing this magic? THere isn't always. everybody sais that there has to be a reason there has to be a cost. I don't necessarily buy in to all that. I don't buy in to anything that is a rule. If there is a rule it has to be across the board. wolf shapeshifters might have slightly different rules from cougar shape shifters who are slightly different to dragon shapeshifters but they each need to have their own set of rules. it has to be consistent. It has to be reasonable. You can't say realistic because you are talking about things that don't exist. deoending on your take on things. and then take that and use your story to sell it. If you don't mean sell and buy. I mean the idea of the story. the paranormal element. 

D: I think that's really good advice and something the audience can take with them.

A: also there's a really great site, where you can make maps. you can make your own maps for your world. I am going to use them for my own books.

D: Yea I saw some of those ones that you used for Facebook or twitter.

A: Oh that's right both.

D: You make it look so easy.

A: It is easy. You get this blank page you signed up and you put in the land mass ant it's easy.and twark it just for fun.

D: So do you like to have something visual,

A: yeah anything visual. anything visual I want it I need it.

D: So do you have pictures of your characters?

A: I have pinterest boards.

D: Do you?

A: yeah. I created. for each series and for the trilogy. I have world building and characters. each on has costumes, architecture. yeah. I go out looking for this stuff and I save it to the board that it belongs to. I came up with 2 new vampires by just seeing. I get excited.

D: That's a good thing.

A: Yeah.

D: I think that we've gone over enough time. Thank you so much for coming on today I really look forward to reading more of your books 

A: I was not just surprised but I was very honoured the you asked me. Thank you so much.

D: Your welcome.


So Allie you stayed on for the buffy night segment with me today. I understand that you like second like role play I'm not actually sure what that is, can you tell me more?

A: ROle play is where you take on a part. interact with other players.

D: is This online

A: It's a video game of sorts. it's free form. you never know what's going to happen


Well I just loved that talk with Allie even if it did run through to two shows she was so insightful and passionate and interesting. I am going to make sure that all of her links are on my webpage and I'll make sure I have it on facebook aswell. I've actually started a new facebook group called Finding Elara and it's for people who's interesting in the show if you ever want to ask question of the guest they're all members of the group it will be a good opportunity to socialise and ask questions and suggest things if you want me to put anything in the show. I told you that I would mention how I was going with my Nano story. I had no idea what I was doing to start with going in to Nano. I have done it a few times and I was confident that I would be fine once I sit down and start writing. but I had no ideas I was really stressed so it took me a couple of days to get in to the  swing of things but I found my story. It is a transition state about someone turning into a mystical creature. I will let you know more in a couple of weeks once I have finished Nano. I'll tell you all how it goes. But for now it's going quite well I am up to date with my words. and I'm plodding alon. I am working on the cover for my christmas tale. it is a bit more complicated that I originally anticipated to get what I want and get across my point of view. I'm sure we willl sort it out. The music is from so if you ever need free music. I am thankful to all my listenners. I have updated my show notes page so I have the transcript for most of the episodes. 

Next week I talk to Pauline Wiles.

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